Knowing how to buy the best electric scooter can be overwhelming, especially when considering the electric scooter age limit. However, respecting the age limit on electric scooters is crucial, not just for a smooth ride but for safety.
Keep in mind that electric scooters have different age limits depending on which US state you live in. In general, it’s recommended that riders be at least 16 years old to ride one. This also depends on the specific model of electric scooter that you choose.
I’ve researched each state’s electric scooter age limit so that you can find a quick answer to your query. I’ll also let you know each state’s electric scooter laws and provide you with crucial safety tips so you and your loved ones ride within the laws and with the utmost confidence.
Electric Scooter Age Limit in the US
Each state has a different legal age requirement for riding an electric scooter. For example, riders must be at least 14 years old in Alaska and Virginia. In South Carolina, riders must be at least 15. In most states, including North Dakota, Texas, and Florida, riders must be 16 or older. However, many states have no age limit regulations.
How Old Do You Have To Be To Ride a Scooter?
Each US state has different laws and age limits regarding electric scooter riding. While most states generally require riders to be at least 16 years old, several have no set age limit regulations. In many states, riders must wear a helmet and possibly even have a valid driver’s license.
There is no maximum age limit for riding a scooter. So whether you’re preparing for old age or your grandpa is curious about e-scooters, it’s good to know seniors can enjoy riding these, too! However, seniors should remember that electric scooters still require balance, physical fitness, and awareness for safety reasons.
In general, it’s safest to ride electric scooters for the same age range as you would drive a car. On average, this is between 16 and 75 (1).
Electric Scooter Age Limit by State
Laws and age limits for electric scooter riding vary across US states. That’s why I put together a handy chart to present each state’s electric scooter laws–I’ve got you covered from California to Massachusetts!
|Delaware||12+ (if supervised by an adult or on parent or guardian’s private property); 16+ otherwise|
|Missouri||None if using on private property; 16+ if using on public streets|
|Rhode Island||None (varies by city)|
Electric Scooter Laws by State
We’ve already covered each state’s age limits, but beyond that, each state has different laws, including where you can ride and how fast you can go. Keep in mind these laws apply whether you’re renting an e-scooter — such as a Lime or Bird scooter — or buying your own.
Use the chart below to explore the laws of each US state.
|Alabama||Class M license required; max speed 20mph; scooters must have brakes and front and back lamps for nighttime; helmet required if you are below the age of 16; laws may vary depending on city.|
|Alaska||E-scooters must be less than 750 watts; riders under 16 need an M2 permit; riders over 16 need an M1 or m3 permit.|
|Arizona||Same laws as bikes; no insurance required; helmets are mandatory for riders under 18.|
|Arkansas||Class M or MD license required; scooters must weigh at least 100 pounds; max 15mph speed limit; laws may vary for each locality.|
|California||Driving license required; max 15mph, but they must stick to streets with speed limits of 25mph or lower; no scooters on sidewalks; helmets mandatory for riders under 18.|
|Colorado||Allowed on streets with speed limits of 30mph or less; allowed on sidewalks at max 6pmh; same rights as bikes; driver’s license required.|
|Connecticut||Helmets mandatory for users under 18; no riding on sidewalks, turnpikes, or limited access highways; driver’s license required; 20mph max.|
|Delaware||Not allowed on highways, streets, or sidewalks; helmets required for riders under 16; same laws as motorized skateboards.|
|Florida||Use designated bike lanes; 30mph max; laws may vary by authority.|
|Georgia||Allowed on roads and bike paths with a speed limit of 35mph or less; not allowed on sidewalks; scooters must weigh less than 100 pounds and have a max speed of 20mph; Class M license required; all riders must wear a helmet and eye protection.|
|Hawaii||Valid motorcycle license required; all riders under 18 must wear a helmet; safety glasses, goggles, or face shield required; allowed on roads, bike paths, and sidewalks; scooters must have lights for nighttime and weigh less than 75 pounds; 15mph max.|
|Idaho||No helmet is required; not allowed on public sidewalks and roadways unless local law states otherwise.|
|Illinois||License required if you’re under 17; same limitations as bikes; scooters must have front and rear lights for night times.|
|Indiana||Scooters must weigh less than 100 pounds and have max speeds of 20mph; same rights as a bike; allowed on streets and bike paths.|
|Iowa||Allowed on highways with a speed limit of 35mph or less, bikeways, and sidewalks; can be parked anywhere that bikes can be parked; scooter must have a white front light and back red light.|
|Kansas||Allowed on roadways; banned from sidewalks or highways; driver’s license required; scooter must have front and rear lights.|
|Kentucky||Same rights as bikes for public streets; front white light and red rear light required.|
|Louisiana||Allowed on sidewalks, bike paths, and streets with speed limits of 25mph or less; only one person allowed on the scooter at a time; helmets required for those under 17.|
|Maine||Cannot exceed 20mph; a scooter must have a front white light and red rear light and reflectors; wheels can’t be bigger than 10 inches in diameter; maximum 750 watts; a license is required at any class.|
|Maryland||Same laws as bikes; 20mph max.|
|Massachusetts||Riders must wear a helmet, give way to pedestrians, and provide an audible signal when passing; a driver’s license is required; max speeds of 20mph.|
|Michigan||Max 2500 watts; only one person at a time; max 25mph; only allowed on streets with speed limits less than 25mph; cannot pass other vehicles; white front light with 500 feet visibility required; rear reflector with 600 feet visibility required.|
|Minnesota||Max 12-inch wheels in diameter; max 15mph; helmets required for those under 18; not allowed on sidewalks; headlight and tail light required; allowed on bike paths and trails that aren’t reserved for pedestrians and bikes; this may vary by authority.|
|Mississippi||No statewide laws, so each city and local municipality makes its own regulations.|
|Missouri||Allowed on streets or bike lanes; driver’s license required.|
|Montana||Adult e-scooters aren’t allowed on sidewalks; pedestrians have the right of way; riders must give audible signals when overtaking.|
|Nebraska||Riders must abide by the rules of the road; not allowed on sidewalks.|
|Nevada||Scooters must be less than 100 pounds; max 20mph.|
|New Hampshire||Depends on the city.|
|New Jersey||19mph max; same rights as bikes; laws vary by city.|
|New Mexico||Depends on the city.|
|New York||Helmets required if under 18 years old; not allowed on sidewalks; allowed on streets with a 30mph speed limit or less; this may vary by city.|
|North Carolina||E-scooters are considered vehicles; e-scooters must be registered with the DMV; a driver’s license is required; only allowed on streets with max 25mph speed limit.|
|North Dakota||Not allowed on sidewalks or bike paths; electric scooters must have brakes, a taillight, and a headlight; users under 18 must wear a helmet.|
|Ohio||Max 20mph; scooters must weigh less than 100 pounds; allowed on public roads but must give way to pedestrians; front and back lights required.|
|Oklahoma||Depends on the city.|
|Oregon||Same rules as mopeds: 1000 watts max; must have lights for visibility; max 24mph; may vary by city.|
|Pennsylvania||Currently unregulated; it depends on the city.|
|Rhode Island||Depends on the city.|
|South Carolina||Depends on the city.|
|South Dakota||Max 12-inch wheel diameter; 15mph max; e-scooters are allowed on sidewalks.|
|Tennessee||Scooters must have brakes and front and rear lights; not allowed on sidewalks unless the city allows it.|
|Texas||Not allowed on roads with a speed limit of more than 35mph; 750W max; may vary by city.|
|Utah||Treated as bikes; must have a white front light and back red light; allowed on roads up to 25mph speed limits; riders cannot exceed 15mph; anyone under 15 must have supervision from a parent or guardian.|
|Vermont||Depending on the city, treated as vehicles and, therefore, not allowed on sidewalks.|
|Virginia||Scooters must weigh less than 100 pounds; max 20mph speeds; may vary by city.|
|Washington||Max 15mph on streets or bike lanes; reflectors necessary at night; sidewalk riding depends on the city.|
|West Virginia||Largely unregulated, we can assume that they have the same rules as e-bikes, and users under 15 must wear helmets.|
|Wisconsin||Max 20mph; max 100 pounds; not allowed on sidewalks; riders must follow the same rules as bikes; may vary by city.|
|Wyoming||No specific e-scooter laws.|
It’s a good idea to check with your local regulations, as this may vary depending on your city. Plus, these laws are always changing, so check in with your local authority for updates.
Are Electric Scooters Legal on Sidewalks?
It depends on your state and local regulations. For example, you cannot ride your e-scooters on sidewalks in California, Connecticut, Georgia, and Kansas. But you can ride your e-scooter on sidewalks in Louisiana, South Dakota, and some areas of Washington state. Always check with your local authority before riding on a sidewalk.
Can I Ride an Electric Scooter Without a License?
In many states, yes, you can! This includes Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont and many more states.
However, some states require users to have a valid license or permit. This includes Missouri, Massachusetts, Maine, Kansas, Illinois, and more.
Do You Have To Wear a Helmet?
Helmet laws are quite relaxed in most states. Even the ones with helmet laws typically don’t require riders over 18 to wear one. However, it’s important to wear a helmet in the states that require you to do so — if you don’t, you could be fined.
Even if it’s not required by law to wear a helmet, it’s the best thing you can do to protect your head while riding.
Is There a Speed Limit on an Electric Scooter?
Many states have a speed limit for electric scooters. For example, in California, e-scooters cannot go any faster than 15 miles per hour. In Maine, e-scooters are limited to speeds of 20 miles per hour or less. Check your state’s local regulations to learn about your area’s speed limits.
Other Electric Scooter Safety Tips
No matter your age, you must stay safe while riding your electric scooter. These motorized vehicles can go up to around 20mph, so they pose many risks. But these seven tips can keep both adults and teenagers safe while riding:
- No riding under the influence: Don’t ride your e-scooter (or any vehicle) under the influence of drugs and alcohol, as this can impair your awareness and ability to react.
- Ride solo: Avoid hitching a ride or offering someone a ride on an e-scooter. In many states, it’s a legal requirement to ride alone.
- Wear protective equipment: Always wear a helmet when riding, regardless of age. Knee and elbow pads can also prevent injury in case you fall.
- Be aware of your surroundings: Be aware of what’s going on around you, especially since you’ll likely be riding on roads. Always check your blind spots, and consider adding mirrors to your e-scooter so you can keep an eye on what’s behind you.
- Stay off your phone: Don’t text, don’t make phone calls, and don’t take pictures while riding. Not only is this illegal in many areas, but it can distract you from safe riding.
- Make sure the scooter is in good condition: Make sure the scooter is not damaged, that it’s secure, and that it’s in alignment. Test the brakes frequently. All of these details will ensure a safer ride.
- Hands-on: Always keep both hands on the handlebars to remain steady.
It’s crucial to be aware of the legal age requirements for e-scooters in your state. In most states, you must be at least 16 or have a valid driver’s license. For 16-year-olds that don’t have a driver’s license, you aren’t permitted to ride the e-scooter in many areas.
However, other states are more relaxed and don’t have a minimum age requirement — which is quite scary! Therefore, e-scooter safety is largely unregulated for kids and teenagers. Hopefully, safety laws will become more thorough in the future, but in the meantime, use your judgment and follow my seven safety tips for a more cautious experience.